Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] News, Discussions and Updates

oldsig127

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
That's really interesting re the C variant - thanks for the insight!

I'm curious regarding the next phase of the program with $4.5-6.7b allocated for 'additional air combat capability' - this seems like a higher figure than needed for just one additional F-35 squadron, on face value it looks as if it could cover up to two additional squadrons based on most recent unit pricing? Noting that air teaming (e.g. loyal wingman) is budgeted separately for $7.4-11b.
Or it could be to provide ONE extra squadron and a pool of attrition spares. IF the full notional 28 aircraft are needed. Don't read too much into figures where there's little or no definition of the scope provided.

oldsig
 

south

Active Member
Seems to me that if they felt it necessary to replace a single aircraft then maybe they need to consider getting a few extra attrition spares or perhaps convert some of the prewired super hornets.
I agree with this line of thinking - if the loss of one (in training) is of sufficient importance to drive a replacement, then perhaps we need more E/A-18G to increase resilience...
I doubt spares are a big part of the calculation really. They’d have an operational capability they want and then they’d be thinking about how many aircraft to sustain that. That one fewer aircraft means more hours racked up on the other 11, which might be an issue over time.
The problem here is that when you end up in the shooting match, you're out of time to maintain the operational capability. There are likely other issues at play such as force training and sustainment (i.e. 11 may not be enough to effectively build and maintain the capability).
 

south

Active Member
But shouldn't the computers architecture be common across all three, and thus the F-35C and (and sometimes B) should be integrated as well? I guess the USAF has more sway on this programs priorities than the USN has. Its not just missing a single naval strike weapon, its basically all of them. I hope the LRASM integration goes smoothly and this will turn the F-35A into a formidable naval strike platform.
F-35 mission systems are common. US services have significant redundancy on alternate weapon delivery platforms (e.g. in the case of LRASM integration, the USN has FA18EF, the USAF has B1B) hence the lack of priority for F-35.

The C variant offers little interoperability with any ally other than the US - It’s designed for and was only really produced for, carrier operations with the USN.
Every F-35A, B, C is equally as interoperable. Their mission systems and avionics are the same - they have the same capabilities. If you were to try and fly a mission with any F-35 variant (e.g an F-35A from a land based runway, or a B off the deck of USS America, or a C off a CVN) alongside an allied 4th gen fighter, they would provide the same effect in sensors, comms and datalink. The word you are looking (to describe changing in/out off a carrier deck for example) for is 'interchangeable'.
 
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Depot Dog

Active Member
I don’t really see the point of specifically comparing Mirage III to Hornet, or comparing single engine to twin engine.

Don’t forget we’ve gone from single to twin and now back to single again.

The real comparison is between time and technology, an aircraft from the late 1950s (Mirage III), another from the late 1970s (Hornet) and a third from the 2000s (F-35).

It’s easy to point the finger at the single engine Mirage III having a high attrition rate vs the twin engine Hornet having a low attrition rate, but it’s not as simple as that

Again, it’s time and technology that separates them.
My previous post was based on experiance. I decided to back it with fact.

1633592773710.png

The above graph shows aircraft mishap rates since 1950. The rate has dropped from 23.6 per 100,000 hours in the 1950's. This dropped to 4.3 in 1960's to 2.3 in the 1970's to 1 in the 2010's.
Source: Attached document.

My problem was using the Mirage attrition statistics. Mirage aircraft losses are on the high side of 1960 era aircraft.
The Mirage losses can be attributed to
Individual causes as a percentage of the 42 aircraft lost
18 engine failure 42.85%
11 loss of control and impact 26.19%
6 undercarriage malfunction 14.3%
3 landing accident 7.14%
3 collision with another aircraft 7.14%
1 tyre failure 2.38%
42 equals 100% of losses

Source www.ADF-serials.com.au

We lost 36.2% of the Mirage fleet.

My first job in the RAAF was overhauling Mirage Tachometers. We were told about the engine flame out. This led me to believe engine flame out was the number 1 cause. When I read your post I initially thought using the Mirage would skew your argument. I thought engine failures would of been higher than 42.85%.

I have to admit the 24 aircraft losses due to reasons other than engines is still high. That makes it a valid choice to use in you post. I take back my point.

Regards
DD
 

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swerve

Super Moderator
I don’t really see the point of specifically comparing Mirage III to Hornet, or comparing single engine to twin engine.

Don’t forget we’ve gone from single to twin and now back to single again.

The real comparison is between time and technology, an aircraft from the late 1950s (Mirage III), another from the late 1970s (Hornet) and a third from the 2000s (F-35).

It’s easy to point the finger at the single engine Mirage III having a high attrition rate vs the twin engine Hornet having a low attrition rate, but it’s not as simple as that

Again, it’s time and technology that separates them.
Indeed. Engine failure rates were much higher in the era when the RAAFs Mirage IIIs were built than when its F-18s were built. Engine technology improved. A difference in numbers of losses due to engine failure can't be attributed simply to single vs twin.
 

Depot Dog

Active Member
Indeed. Engine failure rates were much higher in the era when the RAAFs Mirage IIIs were built than when its F-18s were built. Engine technology improved. A difference in numbers of losses due to engine failure can't be attributed simply to single vs twin.
The engine failure was a factor. Combining this with a delta wing aircraft that you couldn't crash or belly land. The only real choice the pilot had was eject. To me this made engine failure a design flaw or a feature of delta wing aircraft. if they could recover from a engine failure the attrition rate would be smaller.

Regards
DD
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
Indeed. Engine failure rates were much higher in the era when the RAAFs Mirage IIIs were built than when its F-18s were built. Engine technology improved. A difference in numbers of losses due to engine failure can't be attributed simply to single vs twin.
Exactly. Let’s not forget the last RAAF fast jet to be lost was a ‘twin’ engine EA-18G.

The starboard engine $hit itself big time and in the process took out the port engine too.

Having two engines doesn’t automatically prevent the loss of an aircraft if there is a failure to one engine.

Cheers,
 
My previous post was based on experiance. I decided to back it with fact.

View attachment 48578

The above graph shows aircraft mishap rates since 1950. The rate has dropped from 23.6 per 100,000 hours in the 1950's. This dropped to 4.3 in 1960's to 2.3 in the 1970's to 1 in the 2010's.
Source: Attached document.

My problem was using the Mirage attrition statistics. Mirage aircraft losses are on the high side of 1960 era aircraft.
The Mirage losses can be attributed to
Individual causes as a percentage of the 42 aircraft lost
18 engine failure 42.85%
11 loss of control and impact 26.19%
6 undercarriage malfunction 14.3%
3 landing accident 7.14%
3 collision with another aircraft 7.14%
1 tyre failure 2.38%
42 equals 100% of losses

Source www.ADF-serials.com.au

We lost 36.2% of the Mirage fleet.

My first job in the RAAF was overhauling Mirage Tachometers. We were told about the engine flame out. This led me to believe engine flame out was the number 1 cause. When I read your post I initially thought using the Mirage would skew your argument. I thought engine failures would of been higher than 42.85%.

I have to admit the 24 aircraft losses due to reasons other than engines is still high. That makes it a valid choice to use in you post. I take back my point.

Regards
DD
I am very curious why, in 2006-2008 there was a disproportionate decrease in fatalities relative to a slight decrease in destroyed aircraft.
Could there have been an increase in pilot only (single seat aircraft) crashes, improved maintenance or some other factor
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
The engine failure was a factor. Combining this with a delta wing aircraft that you couldn't crash or belly land. The only real choice the pilot had was eject. To me this made engine failure a design flaw or a feature of delta wing aircraft. if they could recover from a engine failure the attrition rate would be smaller.

Regards
DD
“if they could recover from a engine failure the attrition rate would be smaller.”

And the point is?

That’s like saying “if the Queen has balls she’d be the King”, but that’s not reality.

Same with the Mirage III, does it really matter what caused the loss of 40+ aircraft, at the end of the day 40+ aircraft were lost, simple as that.

This discussion started a few pages back when one of the members asked the question if 72 F-35A were enough for four squadrons.

I then listed the last three RAAF fast jet types, starting with Mirage III, then Hornet and now F-35A.

We’ve gone from single engine, to twin engine and now back to single engine, we’ve gone from a late 1950s design, to a late 1970s design and now to a 2000s design.

The point is simple, regardless of the number of engines, is that technology has significantly reduced the attrition rate.

Technology, reliability, maintenance, training, etc, etc, are all factors.
 

Bob53

Active Member
The comparision between Mirage and F18 needs some clarity.

The Mirage was a French single engine delta wing aircraft. If the engine cut out it had the flight characteristics of a dart. The only choice for the pilot was to eject.

One of the reasons we chose the F18 over the F16 was two engines. As with anything you learn from mistakes and try not repeating them.

The engines accounts for a good percentage of losses. Taking the engine crashes out the attrition rate would be less. Technically you could call it a French design fault or high attrition. Please take your pick.

Regards
DD
Sorta Saw this happen. Was working in Dick Ward Drive in Coconut Grove and 2 Mirages were doing touch and go landings. Just touching the runway and then taking off again. Heard this massive boom followed by a second and looked up and saw the pilot in the chute at not a very high altitude…maybe 500ft. He landed inside the airport fence if I remember correctly. The plane landed on the mud flats over the back and we walked out and took a pic. I still have it here somewhere. About 15 minutes later a couple of landrovers turned up and you were not allowed near it. You could see it from the road at the night cliff end.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
To be honest all aircraft from that era were pretty much lawn darts. I don't imagine Australia would have been any better off with something else like the F-104.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
To be honest all aircraft from that era were pretty much lawn darts. I don't imagine Australia would have been any better off with something else like the F-104.
Well the RCAF had CF-104s, about 200 were produced in Montréal under license. One hundred plus class A accidents with over 20 pilots lost, so as you say, another lawn dart with a similar accident rate to other jets from that era.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
I don't think the Mirage had anything like the accident/fatality rate of the F104, which was infamous in its own time. The Mirage was regarded as pretty good, I seem to remember. We lost about 40 of the 100+ the RAAF flew; not good by present day standards I suppose but not remarkable by the standards of the time. And a number of the accidents, like the incident where one tried to land on top of another which was lined up and both were written off, had nothing to do with the aircraft type. As a comparison, the RAN lost 10 out of 20 A4s, an aircraft usually considered pretty safe, again by the standards of the day. OK a number where in carrier accidents of one form or another but equally a number were not.
 
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John Fedup

The Bunker Group
I don't think the Mirage had anything like the accident/fatality rate of the F104, which was infamous in its own time. The Mirage was regarded as pretty good, I seem to remember. We lost about 40 of the 100+ the RAAF flew; not good by present day standards I suppose but not remarkable by the standards of the time. And a number of the accidents, like the incident where one tried to land on top of another which was lined up and both were written off, had nothing to do with the aircraft type. As a comparison, the RAN lost 10 out of 20 A4s, an aircraft usually considered pretty safe, again by the standards of the day. OK a number where in carrier accidents of one form or another but equally a number were not.
The RCAF used their CF-104s as ground attack and recon jets, not so much for interception so the 20 jets lost to bird strikes is understandable (at least shredding a bunch of flying $hit factories was some compensation for the losses).
 

Depot Dog

Active Member
I don't think the Mirage had anything like the accident/fatality rate of the F104, which was infamous in its own time. The Mirage was regarded as pretty good, I seem to remember. We lost about 40 of the 100+ the RAAF flew; not good by present day standards I suppose but not remarkable by the standards of the time. And a number of the accidents, like the incident where one tried to land on top of another which was lined up and both were written off, had nothing to do with the aircraft type. As a comparison, the RAN lost 10 out of 20 A4s, an aircraft usually considered pretty safe, again by the standards of the day. OK a number where in carrier accidents of one form or another but equally a number were not.
After extensive research, I agree that there is nothing special about the Mirage loss rate. My argument was tainted from my RAAF years. The more I got into it, I found I was loosing the argument. That is why I conceeded in my last post.
BTW my point was aircraft design not twin vs single engine.

I am now wiser
Regards
DD
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Apologies for going off topic. Have a number of Horner related questions and I'd very much appreciate any assistance.

1. Who was the manufacturer of the UHF/VHF radios on the RAAFs legacy Hornets?
2. In a video about Hornets, there was mention made of a RT-10 radio. Has anyone heard of it?
3. Did the RAAF's legacy and Super Hornets come with a audio altitude warning system?
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Apologies for going off topic. Have a number of Horner related questions and I'd very much appreciate any assistance.

1. Who was the manufacturer of the UHF/VHF radios on the RAAFs legacy Hornets?
2. In a video about Hornets, there was mention made of a RT-10 radio. Has anyone heard of it?
3. Did the RAAF's legacy and Super Hornets come with a audio altitude warning system?
Not sure on the first one, the RT-10 was the pilots survival radio, guessing it is a modern version of that ? and yep all Hornets have an audio warning system, referred to as Bitching Betty :)


Cheers
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Apologies for going off topic. Have a number of Horner related questions and I'd very much appreciate any assistance.

1. Who was the manufacturer of the UHF/VHF radios on the RAAFs legacy Hornets?
2. In a video about Hornets, there was mention made of a RT-10 radio. Has anyone heard of it?
3. Did the RAAF's legacy and Super Hornets come with a audio altitude warning system?
1. Rockwell Collins (AN/ARC-210 radios).
2. Answered above.
3. Yes, answered above.
 

the road runner

Active Member
Loyal Wingman is going from strength to strength ...wheels up for the testing of the aircraft have been a success

Wheels up for the Loyal Wingman - YouTube

I am curious if loyal wingman will have an internal weapons bay for a ground strike or Air defense role...? I guess time will tell,have not heard any mention of this

Its good that a number of Australian company's are supplying equipment for this project .
This program does seem to be evolving well for the RAAF the ADF and Australia as a whole !
 
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